MEDPLI's 2020 Guide to Medical Malpractice Insurance in New York will help you with your medical malpractice insurance purchase
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New York Medical Professional Liability Insurance Market Summary

New York physicians have three admitted carrier options and a few alternatives when it comes to medical malpractice insurance:

  • MLMIC

  • PRI

  • The Doctors Company (formerly HIC)

MLMIC Insurance Company, part of the Berkshire Hathaway Family, is New York’s #1 medical professional liability insurer for physicians. Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers (PRI) is another admitted option. The Doctors Company, the country’s largest physician-owned malpractice insurance carrier, acquired Hospital Insurance Company (HIC) in 2019. Alternatives to these admitted carriers include:

  • MedPro RRG

  • Applied Medico-Legal Solutions (AMS RRG)

  • Coverys RRG

  • The Doctors Company RRG

  • MCIC VT

When physicians have a hard time getting coverage through a private insurance carrier, there is an alternative option called MMIP or “the pool”. MMIP operates as a medical malpractice insurance pool (“the pool”), which was created by all authorized insurers writing medical malpractice insurance in New York.

Each carrier uses its own proprietary methods of setting rates, thus rates vary from carrier-to-carrier, as well as specialty-to-specialty.

Malpractice Insurance Rates for New York Physicians

Malpractice Insurance rates in NY are generally the highest in the nation – neurosurgeons in Nassau and Suffolk county pay around $350,000 per year for $1,300,000/$3,900,000 limits of liability. When insurance companies set rates, they consider location, specialty, and past claims history as some of the key factors in determining a rate for a physician’s malpractice insurance policy. Practices located in counties with higher and more frequent claims payouts will pay more than the rest of the state.

Each malpractice insurance policy is underwritten individually, but the following rates are estimates to give you an idea of costs by specialty. These rates are based on $1,300,000 a claim/$3,900,0000 a year limits of liability for occurrence coverage.

In Kings and Queens Counties, here is a summary of approximate rates:

Specialty Rates
OB/GYN $191,000
General Surgery $146,000
Orthopedic Surgery $141,000
Plastic Surgery $97,000
Anesthesiology $36,000
Family Practice $29,000

In Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the rates are notably higher:

Specialty Rates
OB/GYN  $206,000
General Surgery $158,000
Orthopedic Surgery $155,000
Plastic Surgery $106,000
Anesthesiology $40,000
Family Practice $32,000

And doctors in Monroe and Ontario Counties, for example, pay much less:

Specialty Rates
OB/GYN $39,000
General Surgery $30,000
Orthopedic Surgery $29,000
Plastic Surgery $21,000
Anesthesiology $8,000
Family Practice $7,000

To inquire about your own personalized quote, submit a Quote Request.

Tail Insurance for New York Physicians

Tail coverage may be necessary when you are changing jobs. Some employers provide tail coverage to employed physicians, though many doctors are responsible for securing their own tail coverage upon departure. Tail coverage generally costs 200% of the expiring premium. For example, an OB/GYN paying $180,000 for claims-made coverage can expect a tail cost of around $360,000.

Many doctors in New York carry Occurrence coverage, which is nice because there is no separate tail required when you have Occurrence. Claims-made coverage, on the other hand, requires a tail when the policy is no longer going to remain in force. For more information on occurrence vs claims made coverage, tail, and more, read our post Buying Malpractice Insurance 101: A Guide for Physicians.

MEDPLI helps doctors shop for affordable tail coverage. If you know you are on a claims-made policy, it’s wise to set aside money to pay for your tail coverage in the future, since the premium is usually due in one lump sum.

When and why is tail insurance necessary?

Many malpractice insurance policies are written on a claims-made basis, which means the coverage is effective based on when the claim is actually made, not when the incident occurred. Here is an example of why you need tail coverage when your employer stops paying for your claims-made policy.

Dr. Smith worked for ABC Medical Group of New York (fictitious names for illustrative purpose) from July of 2014 to April of 2020. The ABC Medical Group provided malpractice insurance to Dr. Smith while she was employed, but requires Dr. Smith to handle her own tail. Now she must get her own tail coverage for the period of concern (July 2014-April 2020). No claims have been made against Dr. Smith, but there is still potential that she could be sued. In New York, medical malpractice claims must be filed within 2 ½ years from the date of the alleged negligent action or omission that caused the patient’s injury. Dr. Smith would be wise to contact MEDPLI in her situation because MEDPLI helps physicians cover their tail, while saving as much as 20% off of the quote provided by ABC Medical Group’s insurance carrier.

New York Statute of Limitations – 2.5 years

What is the Statute of Limitations for medical malpractice in New York State? In New York State, the statute of limitations is two years and six months from the time of injury. For foreign bodies, a malpractice suit may be commenced within one year of the date of discovery. For minors, the two-and-a-half-year time period begins after the patient reaches adulthood.

New York does not have a cap on damages a plaintiff can recover.

Closing Remarks and Next Steps

MEDPLI recommends choosing a Medical Professional Liability Insurance carrier with a strong AM Best Rating, such as “A” Excellent. If you are changing jobs or starting a new practice, we would love to hear from you!

You can submit a Quote Request, email info@medpli.com or call 800-969-1339 to talk to a medical professional liability insurance specialist. MEDPLI helps private practices and doctors changing jobs with their occurrence, claims-made, and standalone tail insurance.

MEDPLI is proud to serve doctors, and we aim to make your Medical Malpractice Insurance easy for you.